Archive for February 15th, 2008

As if working illegally is a legitimate reason to be in this country. Now being an unemployed illegal alien is reason enough to be here. Ugh! Go home and be unemployed in your own country. GuardDog

Day laborers feel foreclosure fallout
Wichita Eagle
2-15-08

GRATON, Calif. - The most desperate men park themselves on corners well before dawn, hoping for first dibs on jobs.

Most days, no one gets dibs - no one gets jobs.

Foreclosures are at record highs, home sales are at record lows and skittish consumers are cutting back on spending, all of which means contractors, construction crews and carpenters are no longer hiring. Neither are landscapers, cleaning services or homeowners.

Work, never a given for day laborers in the best of times, is almost nonexistent these days.

“These are the worst of times,” would-be worker Ramon De la Cruz said recently in Spanish, noting that he had worked only one day in the previous six.

De la Cruz came here from Tabasco, Mexico three years ago to earn money to provide for his daughter, now 5. Only a year ago, he could still make $500 a week.

But Graton (pop. 1,815), sits in western Sonoma County, which has been hit hard by the housing downturn. Home loan defaults nearly tripled from 2006 to 2007, while housing prices dropped by 22 percent, according to DataQuick, a real estate data firm.

De la Cruz and his friends at the Graton Day Labor Center, where seven out of 70 workers might nab work on what passes for a good day, are not sure what they will do. Some have tried moving to other states only to find that workers everywhere are reeling under the fallout from the nation’s housing woes.

Not since the weeks after Sept. 11, when the entire nation froze in shock, have day laborers been in a more precarious position, according to workers and their advocates.

The more than 100,000 day laborers looking for work on any given day - already among the poorest, most stigmatized workers in the country, and many of them here illegally - are finding themselves struggling as never before. Without the proper documents, their job options are limited to odd jobs for cash. Without those, many can barely feed themselves, let alone provide for their families, here or in their native countries.

And they’re facing more competition for the few jobs that are left. As companies in the housing and home improvement industries have cut back on salaried employees, many of those workers have joined the day labor pool.

As a result, advocates say, more day laborers are becoming homeless, more are taking risks for jobs that endanger their health or don’t pay and more are spending their days haunting street corners, where they are resented, even reviled.

“Our fear is that the economic downturn will create a perfect storm where day laborers will be scapegoated more than they already are,” said Chris Newman, legal director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “They’re already deemed symbols of a broken immigration system. What will happen next?”

In the last year, cities and states across the country have been stepping up efforts to drive away day laborers.

In Phoenix, for instance, the county sheriff began rounding up undocumented day laborers even before a state law took effect Jan. 1 punishing employers who hire illegal immigrants. In Oklahoma, a state law that took effect in November makes it a felony to transport, hire or shelter any one who lacks the documents proving legal status in this country.

Citizens who oppose illegal immigration are taking their own action. In Houston, members of U.S. Border Watch, a civilian border patrol group, scribble down license plate numbers at popular day labor hiring spots and report would-be employers to federal authorities.

Chris Simcox, founder and president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a Phoenix-based civil border patrol, said his group has been hearing from communities burdened by idle day laborers.

The laborers used to migrate for jobs, but with no work, they are staying in one spot and creating a nuisance, he said. “We hear complaints of public urination, littering and petty shoplifting,” Simcox said, echoing common gripes in cities that have passed ordinances to push the day laborers off their corners.

Most immigrants here illegally will try to ride out the economic downturn, their advocates say……

To read entire article click here.

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aztlan baby

Tennessean

The number of Hispanic babies born in Tennessee has increased from 444 in 1990 to 7,885 in 2006, according to state department of health data.

The state does not track whether parents of those babies are in the country legally.

?Go back 15 years and there were almost no Latinos in the South Eastern United States,?? said Jeff Passel, a demographer with the Pew Hispanic Center. ?The growth of the Hispanic population in Tennessee and the South East has been notable.??

The Hispanic birth rate in Tennessee far outpaces the nation, Hispanic births almost doubled from 1990 to 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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I learned on CNN the other day that each Superdelagate vote is worth 13,000 citizen (and illegal alien) votes. Superdelegates are seated automatically, based solely on their status as current or former elected officeholders and party officials. Barak, Hillary, and Bill Clinton are superdelagates which of course is a conflict of interest. Here is the list of Superdelagates.

We also have the Electoral College system where 538 chosen electors pick our President. Their votes carry more weight than “We The People.” To top things off, we have easily rigged electronic voting machines and paper vote counting machines. At the state level, representatives gerrymander themselves into their districts so they can’t be voted out of office.

I’ve had a few people tell me very rudely that my vote for Ron Paul in the primary was a wasted vote. I sadly acknowledge that they are correct, but so is theirs, no matter who they voted for. Our democracy is a sick joke. Our elections aren’t any more valid than they are in Russia, Venezuela, Mexico, or Cuba.

I now present to you, a Hillary Clinton campaign song and video. It’s perfect for those of you with your heads firmly planted up your ass. Those of you who still, “believe.”

Superdelegates Get Campaign Cash

Boston.com

Many of the superdelegates who could well decide the Democratic presidential nominee have already been plied with campaign contributions by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, a new study shows.

“While it would be unseemly for the candidates to hand out thousands of dollars to primary voters, or to the delegates pledged to represent the will of those voters, elected officials serving as superdelegates have received about $890,000 from Obama and Clinton in the form of campaign contributions over the last three years,” the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics reported today.

About half the 800 superdelegates — elected officials, party leaders, and others — have committed to either Clinton or Obama, though they can change their minds until the convention.

Obama’s political action committee has doled out more than $694,000 to superdelegates since 2005, the study found, and of the 81 who had announced their support for Obama, 34 had received donations totaling $228,000.

Clinton’s political action committee has distributed about $195,000 to superdelegates, and only 13 of the 109 who had announced for her have received money, totaling about $95,000.

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In addition to seeking to eradicate poverty, that declaration commits nations to banning “small arms and light weapons” and ratifying a series of treaties, including the International Criminal Court Treaty, the Kyoto Protocol (global warming treaty), the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

GOP USA

A nice-sounding bill called the “Global Poverty Act,” sponsored by Democratic presidential candidate and Senator Barack Obama, is up for a Senate vote on Thursday and could result in the imposition of a global tax on the United States. The bill, which has the support of many liberal religious groups, makes levels of U.S. foreign aid spending subservient to the dictates of the United Nations.

Senator Joe Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has not endorsed either Senator Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton in the presidential race. But on Thursday, February 14, he is trying to rush Obama’s “Global Poverty Act” (S.2433) through his committee. The legislation would commit the U.S. to spending 0.7 percent of gross national product on foreign aid, which amounts to a phenomenal 13-year total of $845 billion over and above what the U.S. already spends.

The legislation itself requires the President “to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.”

The bill defines the term “Millennium Development Goals” as the goals set out in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, General Assembly Resolution 55/2 (2000).

Jeffrey Sachs, who runs the U.N.’s “Millennium Project,” says that the U.N. plan to force the U.S. to pay 0.7 percent of GNP in increased foreign aid spending would add $65 billion a year to what the U.S. already spends. Over a 13-year period, from 2002, when the U.N.’s Financing for Development conference was held, to the target year of 2015, when the U.S. is expected to meet the “Millennium Development Goals,” this amounts to $845 billion. And the only way to raise that kind of money, Sachs has written, is through a global tax, preferably on carbon-emitting fossil fuels.

Read more.

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The government loves giving money to their corporate buddies. And we know they don’t want to secure the border anyway, so this is actually a good deal for them. I bet they’re all laughing their asses off right now.

KFOXTV

EL PASO, Texas — The 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border includes a virtual fence made up of a network of cameras, sensors, enhanced communications and upgraded vehicles. The sophisticated equipment is supposed to work as the extra eyes and ears for Border Patrol agents monitoring the open desert. But the first 28 miles of the high-tech virtual fence went up in Arizona, and has seen its share of glitches.

T.J. Bonner with the National Border Patrol Council said glitches include a radar that confused raindrops for undocumented immigrants. He said, “One officer reported that he saw a group of 80 illegal aliens moving northward and then after the end of shift went back to see if the technology had spotted it. It had not.”

Some of the faulty equipment has been replaced or fixed, but that is not enough to convince some people the government should continue with the project.

“It makes the department look bad. It makes Border Patrol less effective if they can’t count on the machines that are put there to help them run a more effective border checks,” said Beth Kurland of west El Paso.

“I think they’d be better off building a regular chain-link fence if they’re going to build a fence at all,” said Arnold Marks of west El Paso. Despite the problems with the $20 million project headed by Boeing, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said parts of the project do expand Border Patrol capabilities. Chertoff said he plans to accept the high-tech system in the next few days, but not all of it. He compares it to having a house inspection.

“There is some stuff you say, ‘I am not taking the house until you fix it.’ And then there is some stuff you say, ‘You know I will live with it but give me credit,’ and that is what we are doing now,” said Chertoff.

Some Borderland residents question if this is the best use of taxpayer dollars.

“I think if they’re going to spend a lot of money on something they’re not sure is going to work, I don’t think it’s a very good idea,” said Marks.

“Why throw good money after bad. That money could be used to put up a more effective barrier, or to try to help both sides take care of the problem,” said Kurland.

The DHS is asking for $775 million in its 2009 budget to fence the border. Some of the money is to refine and expand the virtual fence.

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Washington Times

“Immigrants do jobs Americans won’t do and don’t want.” President Bush, John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy have all said it. But the facts tell a different story.

America’s broken immigration laws are hurting U.S. workers and overburdening our taxpayers.

In 2006, America had 12 million illegal and 26 million legal immigrants. These 38 million immigrants total one-eighth of our population. A third of legal immigrants, and nearly two-thirds of illegal immigrants, haven’t completed high school. Nine percent of American citizens aged 18-64 are without a high school degree.

Common sense, basic economics and the data indicate that admitting large numbers of poorly educated immigrants reduces job prospects and wages for less-educated/skilled Americans. Between 2000 and 2005, jobless Americans without a high school degree increased by 2 million. During the same period, immigrants without high school degrees grew 1.5 million.

The large, disproportionately undereducated influx of immigrant workers has depressed wages for less-skilled/educated Americans. In the last 25 years, hourly wages for high school dropouts decreased 20 percent relative to inflation. For American high school graduates, they decreased 10 percent. African Americans have been particularly hard hit, as Mrs. Clinton recognized in a CNN Democratic debate. Immigration accounted for a third of the jobs lost by African American high school dropouts over the last few decades.

Typically, pro-amnesty voices claim that illegal immigrants are needed because there aren’t enough Americans to fill low-skill jobs. If this were true, then wages and employment rates for less skilled/educated American workers would rise as employers competed to hire them. Yet just the opposite has happened.

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